"Worth every penny"4.5 starson by not_jon
Pros: screen, quality, style, battery
Cons: black is scratch prone, little dongle needed for syncing/charging
Summary: I've had my iriver flash player for well over three and a half years, and the 256mb cap was just too small for my stuff. I decided go all out, and get an mp3 player that I could easily use the next four years of my life, college. Something with a lot of space, something that supported a lot of different files, and something that looked really, really cool.
The Creative Zen Vision caught my eye when I first heard about it at CES. I had been looking at the iPod video, but this little beast drew me away with it's radio, and support for all these different formats. WMA, DivX, it's got you covered. Practically any video you have on your computer will play of the Zen Vision M, and if it can't, the software can convert it. It's more universal than the iPod, it doesn't force you to use their software or their format.
The Creative Zen Vision M is a really, really goodlooking player. I have the black face, it just looks so sleek. The clicky buttons sit flush in the face of the player,with the touchpad in the center. The plastic is very glossy and opague, but no matter which color you choose, the back is the same shiny pearl white, giving the player a two tone. The top has the hold/power slider and headphone jack, the side has a pinhole microphone, and the bottom is the dock connector. It's pretty simple. The player feels pretty sturdy, but I'm not gonna drop it anytime soon just in case. It's very comfortable to hold and use with one hand.
The screen is, honestly, one of the most colorful, sharp and high quality LCDs I've seen. The pictures and video's you're seeing of the player can't do it justice, you need to see it in person to appreciate it. Even in the menu, the colors just jump off the screen. Every video and picture I've put on it are vivid and sharp. The contrast, color, and brightness are great. It really blows anything else out of the water.
It sounds clean. It goes loud. It's one of the best sounding players I've heard, and I've heard a lot. I was happy even before I found the equalizer! If they don't have one that suits you, go in and mess with it yourself until you hit the sweet spot.
The TV shows, music videos and clips of everything look as good as they did on my computer. If you have this out around people, they're gonna want to watch. There aren't dropped frames, no skipping, it's flawless.
While I don't see myself ever watching four hours of video, it's nice to know I can. Maybe if I'm on an airplane, or the passenger of a long car ride, I could load a few movies and kick back. I'm more an audio guy. 14 hours? Nice. I'd never use it for 14 straight hours, so it's also nice to know it'll never run out on me.
The black player is especially prone to scratches, just because of the color. NOT big honking stratches, but the little hairline ones you see if you hold it to the right light. As long as you don't put it in your pocket with your car keys, you'll be fine. If you're that worried, buy a case or screen protector. I havn't, but I treat it good. No scratches. Worst I get is fingerprints on the buttons, which I can just wipe off with a shirt. Secondly, don't loose the little thingy that plugs into the base of the player. Only through that can you charge it, sync it or play it through a TV. The reason they did it was if Creative had included these three ports (USB 2.0, DC IN and A/V out) on the player itself, it would have made it bigger.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with my new mp3 player. I wouldn't trade it for anything else on the market, and if I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to order it right now.